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This paper analyses the competitiveness of Austrian manufacturing industries by comparing the performance of Austrian firms with the Western European firms using recent estimates of total factor productivity (TFP) across Wider Europe (EU 28 plus Western Balkans) during the period 2007-2015. According to the TFP estimates, Austrian firms with larger turnovers, and less employment, in regions with less regional-industrial concentration of labour have become more competitive in terms of TFP. Using firm's TFP and other characteristics aggregated by industries across Wider Europe, a structural gravity model for exports is estimated. In line with the Ricardian models of trade and new trade theories, results show that larger trade across countries in the sample is driven by intra-firm trade, and comparative advantages that are measured as better efficiency of industries in terms of simple average of TFP growth of firms and more allocation of capital to more efficient firms. Comparing the actual values of exports from Austria to Central, East and Southeast Europe (CESEE) with the counterfactual predicted values of the structural gravity model, I find that since 2012 excessive exports were directed to Western Europe rather than to CESEE. In a robustness check using unilateral export values, these interesting findings also confirm that a potential Austrian lock-in effect in the CESEE region reversed and trade diverged to the more competitive market of Western Europe.
Empirica, 2020, 47(3), S.643-668, http://www.springer.com/10663
This paper analyses the structure of the European income inequality by a decomposition in a within- and between-component. It illustrates a replication of the work of Beblo and Knaus (Rev Income Wealth 47(3):301-333, 2001) and decomposes the income inequality for the EU 28 in 2014 by using data from the European Survey on Income and Living Conditions. The Theil index is applied to additionally decompose the sources of inequality into a within- and between-component by countries, country groups and demographic groups. This is done by using equivalised disposable household income and income before transfers and taxes. The results show that inequality, with regard to disposable income, is highest for households with household heads older than 59 years and lowest for households with children. Moreover, high income countries have lower inequality, higher social expenditures and show a stronger relative reduction of income inequality after transfers and taxes than low income countries. On country group level, Social-Democratic countries have the lowest income inequality and redistribute most, while the opposite holds true for Baltic countries.
By means of stochastic volatility in the mean model to allow for time-varying parameters in the conditional mean and quarterly data for the G7 countries, this article examines the dynamic nexus between the volatility of output and economic growth for the G7 countries. This approach allows us to model parameter time-variation so as to reflect changes in the effect of volatility appearing in both the conditional mean and the conditional variance. The evidence in this article indicates that the effect of output volatility on output growth is strongly time-varying and quite analogous for all the G7 countries, with a break around 1973. The effect of output volatility on growth becomes more negative after 1973, with negative and statistically significant estimates after 1973 or the early 1990s. Our estimates show a reversal of the declining trend and a significant increase in output volatility in the late 2000s, indicating that the Subprime Crisis brought a temporary break in the Great Moderation. However, the Great Moderation seems to be generally restored by the mid-2010s. The effect of output growth on output volatility is insignificant for all countries except for Italy and the USA, for which the estimates are positive and statistically significant. Our estimates also show that output volatility is counter-cyclical for all countries.
A major goal of the European Commission in the area of direct taxation is the introduction of a common consolidated corporate tax base in Europe (CCCTB). While hardly discussed in the literature, such a system would limit national discretion over tax depreciation. In a sample of up to 47 countries, we find that the probability of a tax reform that improves the depreciation allowances increases, if the macroeconomic situation is weak. This suggests that changes in depreciation allowances are used as a fiscal instrument for stabilisation. A common consolidated tax base deprives national governments from implementing investment incentives via accelerated depreciation. This paper discusses the possible implementation of a hybrid system that combines features of formula apportionment and separate accounting. Such a hybrid system may substantially mitigate transfer pricing problems and other tax planning issues, whilst preserving national discretion over depreciation allowances.
Empirica, 2020, 47(3), S.543-577, http://www.springer.com/10663
This study analyses and compares the dynamics of intra-European Monetary Union and intra-non-EMU, EU stock markets' return spillover during European Sovereign Debt Crisis (2 November 2009 to 30 December 2016). Diebold and Yilmaz's (Int J Forecast 28(1):57-66, 2012) spillover index, Barunik's et al. (J Int Money Finance 77:39-56, 2017) spillover asymmetry measures, and Barunik and Krehlík's (J Financ Econ 16(2):271-296, 2018) frequency connectedness methodologies are applied for analysis. The findings of this study indicate that intra-EMU stock market return spillover was higher than the intra-non-EMU EU stock markets' return spillover during the crisis period. It is also identified that the intra-EMU stock market return spillover is more responsive to global and domestic economic and financial events than to the intra-non-EMU EU stock markets' return spillover. France was identified as the most integrated and Slovakia the least integrated among the EMU stock markets. Among the non-EMU EU stock markets, Sweden was identified as the most integrated and Bulgaria as the least integrated stock market with other non-EMU EU stock markets. The presence of asymmetry in the return spillover for both EMU and non-EMU, EU stock markets was also revealed. It was also found that return spillover among the EMU and non-EMU, EU stock market is dominated over higher frequencies and that stock markets in these economies analyse information rapidly to incorporate it into stock prices. The findings of the study provide significant implications for researchers, academician and policy-makers. Knowledge regarding the dynamics of return spillover among the investigated stock markets will allow investors to formulate their portfolio diversification strategies in a better and informed manner.
Carlos Vacas-Soriano, Enrique Fernández-Macías, Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo
Empirica, 2020, 47(3), S.523-542, http://www.springer.com/10663
This paper presents an analysis of two processes of convergence between European countries, in wage levels and wage distributions, and the extent to which they explain recent trends in wage inequality for the EU as a whole. The results show that wage convergence was the main driver behind wage inequality trends for the EU as a whole in the last decade, which was significantly reduced prior to the crisis as a result of wage catch-up growth mainly in Eastern Europe, a process which was interrupted during the crisis but reactivated again in the most recent period. On the other hand, the contribution of within-country wage developments to explain changes in wage inequality for the EU as whole over the last decade was much more limited, although it is interesting to note as well a process of convergence in wage distributions between European countries towards intermediate inequality levels. Policies directed at reducing wage disparities within countries offer the best prospect to tackle wage inequalities both at the national and EU-wide level, as illustrated by the introduction of the German statutory minimum wage in 2015.
This article assesses the effectiveness of the labour market reforms implemented in Portugal as part of the Troika's structural reform package. Using an ARDL-bounds test model to perform the econometric estimation, this investigation examines the long-run relationship between unemployment, capital accumulation and labour market variables for the 1985-2013 period. The econometric estimation suggests that capital accumulation has been the main driver of long-run unemployment, whilst labour market variables have played a minor explanatory role. These results suggest that Portuguese NAIRU is endogenous to capital accumulation and do not support the Troika's emphasis on labour market reforms as a strategy to reduce long-term unemployment.
The paper examines the impact of human capital on the growth of total factor productivity in European countries. Using the modified Nelson-Phelps framework, we estimate regressions based on panel data for the period 1950-2014, measured as 5-year averages. The GMM estimates show the positive and statistically significant effects of human capital on technological progress and diffusion. However, the results do not favour the convergence of all countries in the sample to the technological frontier. In addition to countries that are not yet members of the EU, our estimates suggest that peripheral EU countries have a weak convergence rate due to insufficient investment in human capital.
Empirica, 2020, 47(3), S.453-473, http://www.springer.com/10663
The paper addresses the issue of convergence with the EU for nine countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Montenegro and Ukraine. They are all at different stages of EU candidacy which could eventually lead to full membership. Some are officially recognised as candidate countries while others are at the stage of an association agreement. The presence of convergence is examined in terms of two macroeconomic indices: GDP per capita and GDP per person employed. Panel unit root tests as well as univariate unit root tests are estimated for the period 1997-2016. In broad terms, the empirical findings reported herein indicate a lack of convergence with the EU irrespective of the metric used. However, they indicate a process of in-group convergence mostly in terms of GDP per person employed.
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